Preventing a brain aneurysm 

You can't always prevent brain aneurysms, but you can lower your risk by not smoking and reducing high blood pressure.

Smoking

If you smoke, stopping can significantly reduce your risk of developing a brain aneurysm.

If you decide to stop smoking, your GP can refer you to an NHS stop smoking service, which provides dedicated help and advice about the best ways to give up smoking.

You can also call the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044. The specially trained helpline staff can offer you free expert advice and encouragement.

If you're committed to giving up smoking but don't want to be referred to a stop smoking service, your GP should be able to prescribe medical treatment to help with any withdrawal symptoms you may have after quitting.

See treatments to help you stop smoking and stop smoking advice for more information.

High blood pressure

Having high blood pressure can also significantly increase your chance of developing a brain aneurysm.

You can help reduce high blood pressure by:

  • eating a healthy diet – in particular, cutting down on salt and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • moderating your alcohol intake – men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week 
  • maintaining a healthy weight – even losing just a few pounds will make a big difference to your blood pressure and overall health
  • exercising regularly – being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition
  • cutting down on caffeine – it's fine to drink tea, coffee and other caffeine-rich drinks as part of a balanced diet, but it's important these drinks aren't your only source of fluid

Read more about preventing high blood pressure.

Page last reviewed: 14/10/2015

Next review due: 01/10/2018